by John Moss
On Sunday 14th May I went with Ian Sampson to Tilford Rural Life Centre where the LL Club were putting on a display of collectables and items depicting our vintage heritage. Between the two of us we took three stationary engines in order to keep our part of the preservation scene on the map so to speak.
One of the engines that Ian took was his newly acquired 1911 Aermotor. In fact this was its first outing under new ownership and ran impeccably all day without a murmur.
The Aermotor Company was founded in the late 1800’s in Illinois, Chicago and mainly concentrated on windmill construction to raise water from wells and bore holes. (a good example of the windmill can be seen in front of The Limeburners Restaurant at Amberley Museum). In 1909 Aermotor came out with a small air cooled horizontal engine to power the windmills when there was little or no wind. Ian’s model still has the square ended spigot where it was connected to the windmill/pump.
This engine is unusual in that it operates on the rather unusual 8 stroke cycle and for newer members to stationary engines who may not know quite what this means (forgive me if you all do!) it differs from the 4 stroke cycle that we are all conversant with, in that after the exhaust stroke the exhaust valve stays open for an extra 4 stokes during which air is drawn through the cylinder getting rid of all exhaust gases.